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Measurement for our planet

As COP26 approaches, discover how NPL plays a key role in enabling climate action through the delivery of accurate, reliable data that supports decision making and enables low carbon innovation.

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NPL welcomes the National Space Strategy

NPL welcomes the publication of the UK Government’s National Space Strategy, published today (27 September 2021), which Prime Minister Boris Johnson states is “About tapping our vast pools of talent and enthusiasm, putting the UK firmly in the front rank of the global space industry”

The strategy sets out a vision for how the UK will become one of the world’s leading space economies, protecting and defending the UK’s interest in space and inspiring the next generation.

NPL’s metrology expertise is crucial in supporting this fast-growing sector through testing, validation and calibration which enables the space industry to use new technologies with confidence.

A major part of every mission build, operation and provision of downstream services is the testing, validation and calibration – these high value satellites are required to be launched into space and then operate without maintenance or repair, this means that technology has to be rigorously tested and validation of programmes conducted for every component for every mission, to ensure the survival of equipment in extremely harsh space environments.

Space technology transcends geographical boundaries and is intrinsic to addressing challenges on a global scale. Whether it's technology developed specifically for space applications or existing equipment being adapted for space, measurement is at the heart of the industry. NPL has the expertise to help companies carry out spacecraft testing, mission design, operation of networks and analysing quality space-based data.

Our work encompasses Earth Observation and satellites that are monitoring the health of our planet, through to space clocks, needed for position navigation and timing, to ensure the technology we rely on, on a daily basis, functions correctly.

We work closely with the UK Space Agency and the European Space Agency to ensure our metrology expertise can provide, fast and robust space qualification, product verification across diverse supply chains, accurate measurement of spacecraft trajectories, the characterisation of new materials and electronic components, the qualification test procedures and standards relevant for a thriving space industry.

We are delighted that the ESA funded, UK Space Agency led and NPL conceived TRUTHS mission receives recognition in the strategy for its use to fight the global impacts of climate change from space.

NPL will continue to support the UK’s ambitions in space and inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers to take up roles in this fast-paced sector.

27 Sep 2021